A new investigation has affirmed what Shift reported earlier this year on the deep ties between Jay Inslee, disgraced former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber and liberal California billionaire Tom Steyer. According to emails obtained by the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, White House officials, state governors, and liberal organizations funded by Steyer secretly worked to create a state-level network to advance controversial new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, Obama’s climate action plan and international “green” treaty objectives. The regulations in question include 111d, the EPA’s leading “war on coal” regulations that impact coal operated power plants. Via the Washington Free Beacon,
“The strategy to win support for the regulation, which critics call onerous, began in late 2013 when aides to Kitzhaber, [Washington] Gov. Jay Inslee (D.), and California Gov. Jerry Brown (D.) opened talks with the White House regarding EPA’s regulations of carbon emissions from power plants, which were being drafted at the time.
“Emails in December 2013 dub the plan ‘Dan’s concept.’ That is a reference to Dan Carol, a former Kitzhaber campaign operative and then the highest paid member of his administration.”
That’s the same Dan Carol who arranged Cylvia Hayes’ (Kitzhaber’s fiancée) fellowship with the Clean Economy Development Center (CEDC) then got hired as a Kitzhaber staff member with a generous salary. And, as Shift was first to expose, it is also the same Carol whose emails refer to the offices of the governors (Oregon, Washington and California) pushing a climate agenda funded by “major environmental donors,” including Steyer.
The Energy and Environment Legal Institute’s investigation reveals that Carol worked to “recruit Steyer as the figure who, with his deep pockets and established political infrastructure, could unite disparate state and federal administrators, and infuse the effort with the political, policy, and business backing needed to sell it to a skeptical public and their elected representatives.” The Washington Free Beacon,
“In January 2014, Carol emailed Ted White, the managing partner of Fahr LLC, which White’s law firm describes as ‘an umbrella entity for prominent investor and philanthropist Tom Steyer’s extensive business, policy, political, and philanthropic efforts.’
“Carol suggested that Steyer meet with key players behind the public relations campaign. ‘Tom seemed interested in learning more and he could be a great catalyst and leader here if he was able to be in town then,’ Carol wrote…
“On July 30, Graham Richard, the CEO of Steyer’s Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) group, told Robinhold in an email, ‘Our AEE team stands ready to assist you and the governor.’
“A month later, Carol provided Kitzhaber and Hayes with ‘a planning timeline that staff is using to promote strategic alignment around the various Steyer entities,’ according to an email released by the governor’s office.”
Carol did not limit his planning guideline to Oregon. The plan, titled “West Coast Alignment Planning Timeline,” notes Washington State’s involvement in working with Steyer’s network. The document states, “Washington and Oregon leads work with [Steyer’s] AEE team to identify specific ‘business-led’ advocacy campaign elements in the region pegged to planned actions.”
Emails between Carol and White also reveal a careful adherence, and deference, to the wills of extreme environmental groups and Steyer by both Kitzhaber and Inslee. In one email, Carol refers to Steyer’s role in spearheading an effort focused on implementing extreme “green” policies on the state-level rather than on a national scale.
Carol wrote to White, “Tom could frame and catalyze this new, smarter paradigm at low cost by funding new ‘state leads’ in WA and OR as described below… The alternative we fear is misallocation of resources to the usual national NGO players without a higher level of accountability that only engaged Governors and this new campaign framework will provide.” The Washington Free Beacon,
“On the same day, Carol emailed Podesta, now chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. In the email, Carol outlined his plans for “the creation of a nimble network of already engaged Governors and designated state coordinators closely tied to each Governor.” …
“By April of 2015, Carol’s “nimble network” was coming into being.
“In an email to AEE senior vice president of government affairs Michael Woolf, Carol identified aides to the governors of Washington, New York, Maryland, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Vermont, Illinois, Minnesota, Virginia, and Kentucky as participants.”
Carol’s plan to build support for EPA’s regulations involved “getting Republican-governed states on board by enlisting utilities to pressure them into acquiescence.” According to Carol, governors of blue states could “quietly engineer a breakthrough strategy that compels utilities in key red states to lead the charge to win over a key Governor.” The fact that Carol had to develop an underhanded strategy reveals that the “nimble network” was all too aware of the unpopularity—both by state leaders and voters—of the EPA regulations.
As Shift reported, the financial influence of extreme environmental groups on “green” advisors acting in an official capacity in the offices of Democrat governors is not unique to the now disgraced Kitzhaber administration—it’s apparent in Inslee’s as well. Unfortunately, media outlets in our state are not willing to investigate Inslee’s administration. It is imperative that Washington media outlets launch the same level of investigation as was done in Oregon. After all, as Shift has revealed time and time again and as this latest investigation reveals, it is clear that dark money from outside environmental groups heavily influence the policies of our green governor.